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Literature / The Saga of Larten Crepsley

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"Are spiderwebs a treat where you come from?"

The Saga of Larten Crepsley is a 4-part Fantasy Horror series by Darren Shan, serving as a prequel to The Saga of Darren Shan (the author's real surname is O' Shaughnessy, but that's not quite as marketable). The series showcases the life of Larten Crepsley, the vampire mentor of Darren Shan. It explores his past and how he entered the world of vampires.

The books in the series are:

  • Birth of a Killer
  • Ocean of Blood
  • Palace of the Damned
  • Brothers to the Death

For characters, please see the main series' page, since most of the same characters appear.

This series provides examples of:

  • Bad Boss: Traz
  • Call-Forward: Humorous example in Seba's first words to Larten ("Are spiderwebs a treat where you come from?"). In the first book of The Saga of Darren Shan, while performing, Mr. Crepsley makes Madam Octa spin a web on his mouth and Crepsley eats them, commenting to the crowd that spiderwebs are a great treat where he comes from.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Larten against Staffen Irve
  • Doomed by Canon: Since Murlough is still alive in The Saga of Darren Shan, it's obvious that Wester won't succeed in his revenge mission.
  • Fantastic Racism: Wester resents vampanezes after Murlough massacred his family. This has horrible consequences at the end of the series.
  • Good Feels Good: Kurda's reason for setting up makeshift hospitals to help people during the end of World War II- "I just like helping."
  • It's Personal: Wester wanting to kill Murlough for murdering his family
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Daniel Abrams is this in the second book, since he had a sort of devoted crush on Malora, who was Larten's assistant at the time. When he discovered that Larten was a vampire, the sentence in that paragraph of the book says he wanted everyone to resort to violence to kill Larten and Malora. Malora is hanged from a noose, Larten kills nearly everyone on the boat save for a handful of shipmates (Daniel Abrams included). During the time period, this would have been a reasonable decision. But when you consider that Daniel Abrams started all of this for the thrill, this trope does apply to him. It's implied that he goes on to become the Spits Abrams of book 10 of the original saga.
  • Kid Hero All Grown-Up: Inverted, this is the younger version of Darren's mentor from Cirque du Freak.
  • Older Than They Look: Because they're Vampires.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Between vampire "fathers" and "sons" - Seba and Larten, Larten and Gavner.
    • Happens at the end when Larten is forced to kill Wester.
  • Prequel: The are a few vampires in this series that aren't in The Saga of Darren Shan. Want to make a guess at why?
  • Promotion to Parent: Larten becomes this to Gavner Purl, sort of in the second book.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Even though he's completely justified in his resentment against vampanezes, the methods Wester goes to prove they have to be exterminated are too much. He spreads anti-vampaneze propaganda, to the point that other characters compare him with the Nazis and it culminates with him murdering Larten's girlfriend and putting the blame on a vampaneze in an attempt to start a war against vampires and vampaneze and push Larten to his cause.
  • Shout-Out: When asked by Larten if Demons are real Seba replies, "Well, in five hundred years, I have not seen any."
  • Time Skip: There are few time skips in the first book which range from a few years to several weeks.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Wester becomes this to Mr. Tiny in the end.